Adobe Adds Photomerge, Recompose, More in Photoshop Elements 8


This week, Adobe announced its eighth generation of Photoshop Elements for both PC and Mac, and this time Mac users need to wait only a month for the latest version.

PSE 8 for Windows Adds Easy Smarts

Adobe's new Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows adds a number of features for easier photo editing, including:

  • Photomerge Exposure, which builds upon the powerful Photomerge feature in earlier versions of PE to enable you to combine the properly-exposed areas in two otherwise-identical photos into a "single, perfectly-lit photo." The example Adobe demonstrates uses two photos of friends posing in front of a floodlit building, one with and without flash. It'll be interesting to see how Photomerge Exposure does with a pair of RAW images optimized for bright and dark areas.
  • Recompose , which allows you to intelligently stretch a photo to fit in a particular frame without distorting the main subject. The example Adobe uses converts a landscape-format photo into a square photo, but inquiring minds (like mine) are wondering about converting 4:3 photos into 16:9 photos (and vice-versa).
  • Smarter, faster quick fixes for exposure, teeth whitening, bluer skies, contrast, and more with better previews.
  • Get more online storage (20GB versus 2GB), tutorials, artwork, and templates by upgrading to (or buying up front) Photoshop Elements 8 Plus.

PSE 8 also adds better photo management:

  • An enhanced Organizer with Auto-Analyzer technology automatically tags photos by type (closeup, high contrast, and more).
  • People Recognition technology for automatic tagging of people in both video clips and photos.
  • Automatic media synchronization across computers.

Compare PSE 8 for Windows to PSE 7 and PSE 6 here .

Mac Users Get Even More Goodies

The Mac version, due out in October, has all of the features of PSE 8 for Windows, and also adds :

  • Adobe Bridge CS4 technology for photo management
  • PhotoMerge Scene Cleaner to remove unwanted elements from a series of similar photos
  • SmartBrush and Touch-Up brushes for retouching

How to Try, How to Buy

Adobe, which has sometimes been laggard in providing trials of its latest Photoshop Elements editions, is on the ball with Photoshop Elements 8, offering information, free trials, and special rebate or prerelease offers for PSE 8 for Windows , PSE8 for MacOS , the companion Premiere Elements 8 for Windows , and the Photoshop Elements 8/Premiere Elements 8 bundle for Windows . Note: you must have (or sign up for) a free Adobe account to download trials.

Illustration adapted from Adobe website illustrations of product cover art.

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